Data intrusion can be a logistical and financial nightmare for businesses and customers who assume their confidential information is secure. Although businesses are concerned about protecting proprietary information, many are ill prepared to do so.
To respond to this threat, colleges and universities must do more to prepare business students in cybersecurity, concludes Elizabeth Cameron in a recent award-winning research paper.
“Students preparing for business careers must understand the value of data, the importance of data protection and the effective management of data security breaches,” says Cameron, professor of business administration at Alma College. “All business students, not just computer science majors, must be trained in the fundamentals of cybersecurity and privacy protection.”
Enhancing the skills of business students in cybersecurity also will address the need for new employees with cybersecurity training. ISACA, a professional association focused on IT governance, estimates an international shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals.
“Cyberattacks not only result in lost data or stolen intellectual property, but companies also sustain substantial financial losses,” says Cameron. “On average one cyber-attack can cost more than $5 million in lost data, computer system downtime and information technology productivity loss. Financial consequences, data loss and reputation loss are all reasons why business schools must begin to incorporate cybersecurity within the business curriculum.
“Business schools are well positioned to take the lead to prepare students for the future,” says Cameron. “Our goal is to ensure that future business professionals are proactive rather than reactive regarding cybersecurity breaches.”
Cameron’s research received the 2019 MBAA International Distinguished Research Paper Award from the Society for the Advancement of Information Systems. The award was presented March 29, 2019, at the MBAA International conference in Chicago, attended by more than 700 business faculty from around the world.
Her paper, “Why Business Schools Must Incorporate Cybersecurity into the Business Curriculum — Preparing the Next Generation for Success,” was co-authored by Tanya M. Marcum of Bradley University. The papers submitted for the competition were double blind reviewed.
This was the third time that Cameron has received a distinguished research paper award at the MBAA International Conference. She also won in 2009 and 2017. Read about her 2017 award.
Cameron is teaching a 2019 Spring Term course on “Cybersecurity and Privacy Law and Management” that includes travel to Washington, D.C. Students will interact with chief security professionals from government agencies and corporations in the D.C. area.
“Cybersecurity and privacy are important issues across all academic disciplines and a contemporary topic for future careers,” says Cameron. “This Spring Term course is a trip of a lifetime for students interested in cybersecurity.”